When Churches Compete (3 of 4)

Our Dangerous Pursuit to Be the Best

competing baseball

When churches compete, Jesus isn’t enough . . .

The edge. All competitors look for it. 

They search for that one thing that will give them an advantage. They’ll work out longer, they’ll practice harder, they’ll study better. Whatever it takes to beat their opponent.  

But when the playing field becomes even, when athletes are equally dedicated, when batting averages become comparable, the edge is hard to find. So steroids become the edge. Manufactured greatness. Anything, at any cost, to be the best. 

I wonder if our churches are manufacturing greatness. When we all have the same message (reconciliation to God), and we all have the same mission (making disciples), and we all have the same tools (Bible, Holy Spirit) then the playing field is pretty level. 

If my goal is to beat the church down the street, I need an edge. Jesus isn’t enough . . . they have Jesus, too. 

church window

And so we pump up our programs, and we bulk up our buildings. We look great on the outside—better than everyone else—but it’s all a show. 

We’re swinging for the fences every at bat, not to win the game, just to look like winners. And with the manufactured look, we suffer the quiet side effects. We make ourselves dysfunctional and unhealthy. Competition drives us to become bigheaded, angry, sterile frauds.

But I submit that Jesus is enough. 

He’s all you need. If you’re looking to reach the disenfranchised, He’ll give you dynamic ideas. If you’re looking to make disciples, He’ll send you the resources. If you’re looking to heal the hurting, He’ll show you how. 

I don’t think our churches need an edge. We already have it. We just need to cooperate with each other instead of competing against each other.